November 23, 2015

Handcuffed headscarved women, religion teacher arrested by ’Islamic’ government

Abdülhamit Bilici

The ongoing state of madness, reminiscent of previous extraordinary periods, will certainly come to an end.

Oppressors will be tried sooner or later. Worse still, no one will attend their funerals when they die, as was the case with 1980 coup general Kenan Evren. As long as they live, their evil deeds will stalk them wherever they go. The oppressed people will only be victimized temporarily and if they endure it and stick to their line, they will be eternally remembered as honorable people.

Blood-curdling things are happening everywhere across the country. The ruling party, which has been advertising its advocacy for the right to wear a headscarf, has gone so far as to handcuff headscarved women on charges related to collecting donations for poor students. A religion teacher, who passed a fruit knife, turning its blade toward himself so that the recipient need not fear, was arrested on charges of terrorism at a time when the ruling party is nurturing a so-called Islamist mentality. In a number of provinces and districts in the Southeast, people are locked down in their houses for days, and civilians -- including children and the elderly -- are killed by stray bullets. Those who conducted negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and permitted the PKK to grow stronger rush to label anyone who voices the truth today. Our soldiers and police officers continue to be martyred. Shady networks like the "Esedullah" team, which does not seem to be part of the military or the police, are carrying out unlawful practices that are reminiscent of the 1990s.

But the agenda of the ruling party -- which was itself mistreated in the past -- now includes handcuffing headscarved women; intimidating students and lawyers, even handcuffing their hands behind their backs; sinking holding companies by assigning people with shadowy pasts as trustees and paying them a monthly salary of TL 105,000; laying off journalists and silencing the free media. How terrible and tragic for those who were jailed for reciting a poem in the past to go through such a transformation! If only they could look in the mirror and see what they have become... We here, are trying to be a voice for all oppressed groups without any discrimination.

Looking at refugees

The terror attacks in Paris have made the plight of Muslims living in Western countries and that of Syrian refugees even worse. Those who see Europe as a destination of salvation will now be faced with higher walls. Last week, you may have read a Zaman daily series of articles that discussed the Syrian refugee issue and offered solutions from experts, This week, we will focus on photo stories related to the hopes and tragedies of refugees on the island of Lesbos. It is hard to restrain your tears as you watch video showing how Syrian women feel after surviving the death journey. There are other surprises as well.

Published on Today's Zaman, 23 November 2015, Monday